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Childhood Obesity and BMI - Weight Loss Study
Child Obesity Leads to Adult Overweight Under Family Influence
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Childhood Obesity & BMI

Current evidence suggests that overweight children turn into overweight adults. And with and an estimated 1 in 5 children now overweight, even small improvements can have large benefits to society.

Childhood Obesity Study Aim
To investigate the probability or likelihood that a child would be at risk of high BMI, based on a variety of attributes characterizing the child.

Childhood Obesity Study Result - BMI
Several statistical associations with the remaining characteristics of children were found. The higher the parents' BMIs, the greater the risk that their child would have a high BMI. Higher family income and larger family size were associated with a lower risk of high BMI.

Childhood Obesity Study Result - Calorie Intake
Dietary patterns were statistically associated with the likelihood of high BMI. Total weight of food and beverage intake was positively associated with the likelihood of high BMI. Also, the higher the proportion of calorie intake from protein or fat, the higher the likelihood that a child would have high BMI. However, total calorie intake was negatively associated with the likelihood of high BMI. This paradoxical finding has been reported numerous times in the past. Although its interpretation in this context is unclear, it may be related to underreporting or dieting among heavier children (Basiotis et al., 1989).

Childhood Obesity Study Conclusion
It was found that children most likely to have a high BMI would share some or many of the following characteristics: Either parent or both parents are overweight or obese; the children live in smaller families or are poor; they consume a high proportion of calories from fat; and they are avid TV watchers. These findings deserve further study in the light of other research. In particular, the findings on the dietary behaviors need to be better understood because they, along with physical activity level, can be controlled by the individual.

Source: Publication of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion 1999

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